It is no secret that my parents are my spiritual heroes. My dad's dad (aka Grandpa) was a pastor for many years. Him and my Grandma loved the Word of God and have passed down an incredible spiritual legacy. My mom was probably the odd one in her family for awhile when it came to her relationship with Jesus. So, they kinda had opposites as far as spiritual background, but seemed to come together when it came time for them to have their own family. There are so many reasons, they are my spiritual heroes. On Easter, my pastor preached about evidences of the Resurrection. He said one of the greatest evidences of the Resurrection is changed lives. I think that is the main reason why my parents are my spiritual heroes. Their lives were changed by the power of the Gospel and I got to experience firsthand the changed life lived out.
Before we got married, my Dad talked/preached to Adam and myself. He asked us the same question and then answered it for us, but like every good preacher, he had a point. The question was, "Do you love her or him?" I thought it was an interesting question and of course, my answer was YES, but my dad answered it a little bit differently. My dad's answer for the question, "As much as I know how." He then went on to share a bit from what I like to think is his favorite book of the Bible, "So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others..." -Philippians 2:1-4. Dad then encouraged us to live lives of humility, preferring the other over yourself, putting away selfishness, and following Christ's example of humility that we see in Philippians 2:5-11. However, we don't do it for our own glory or exaltation, but that Christ may be honored and glorified in our marriage. Some Godly people in our lives, including our pastor, gave us wisdom along the same lines. The ugly sin of selfishness often shows up in our lives, but I think at times it seems uglier in marriage when the person you love the most can see it too.
Less than 2 months into marriage, and the challenge from my Dad's words seems to become greater. I'm thankful for his Godly wisdom and others encouraging Adam and myself in the same way. I am most grateful for the example we see in Jesus. I am challenged by His example and awed by the truth that He was able to put this into practice perfectly with His death on the cross. He loved perfectly and selflessly. May my life be a reflection of striving to be like Him as much as I know how...
This is how we know
This is how we know what love is
Just one look at Your cross
And this is where we see
This is where we see how love works
For You surrendered Your all
-Matt Redman, This Is How We Know.